COACH Boyet Fernandez and the Red Lions staff held a post-game talk with their players after suffering their first loss of the season then immediately returned to work by scouting their next opponent San Sebastian, which played in the second game of the double-header on Monday.
That’s how serious the Lions are in their bid to get right back on the winning track in the NCAA men’s basketball.
The defending champions hope to see good results from the scouting work as they square off against the Golden Stags in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
Coming off a stunning 76-83 setback to resurgent College of St. Benilde that halted their five-game winning streak and put an end to a dream sweep, the Lions try to score their sixth victory in seven games and keep their grip on the lead.
No less than their upcoming foes are expecting the Lions to make a rousing return in the 2 p.m. match.
“We know the Lions are going to be back roaring,” Stags coach Topex Robinson said as his team aims to improve its 3-3 win-loss card.
The Stags are also fresh from a shock defeat — an 81-89 decision at the hands of erstwhile winless Mapua.
The Lions continue to rely on the league-best defense anchored on Ola Adeogun that allows just 65.2 points per game, but they would have to limit their turnovers after committing 22 last Monday, which translated into 23 turnover points and 20 fast-break points by the Blazers.
San Sebastian, meanwhile, is an attack-minded squad led by the CJ Perez, Jamil Ortuoste, Jovit dela Cruz, and Bradwyn Guinto although turnover-prone, averaging a league-worst 22.3 errors per contest.
Arellano, knotted with San Beda on top with a similar 5-1 record, seeks to keep a share of the lead as it faces Jose Rizal University in the second game at 4 o’clock.
Behind an effective full-court trap, the Chiefs have won three straight games and put the streak on the line against the Heavy Bombers (3-3), who are also known for employing a suffocating defensive press.